Can You Ruin Your Engine by Revving It?

Can You Ruin Your Engine by Revving It?

The most common question among the drivers is that if you rev your engine will it cause any harm to its components?

The effect of revving an engine depends largely on the temperature of the engine. If you rev a warm or running engine, then it will not ruin your engine. But if you rev your engine while the engine is cold or in neutral, it can cause severe malfunction of the engine’s components.

In this article, I will answer some frequently asked questions about revving an engine in different conditions.

Is Revving Your Engine in Neutral Bad?

It depends on a few criteria like the type and size of the engine. If you meant automobile engines, then this article is for you.

Automakers design their engines within their power limit. Of course, an engine can handle an excessive amount of stress but, they have limitations. Revving the engine without any loads can be harmful to your machine. When you rev your engine, it creates an amount of inertial energy that has to be transferred through your car.

But if your car stays standstill without moving its wheels, the heat and energy the engine is making are not going anywhere. That can cause severe damage to your engine’s components. 

Modern cars nowadays come with software technology that limits the number of RPMs you can run. For this, revving the engine as much as you can do nothing to the machine. To control the RPM range, old cars used to have a rev limiter built-in, and for this, if anyone were to over-rev the engine, it would crack the block to shut down the machine.

Another thing you should keep in mind is, machines need to be cool-down when they are running. If you have an air-cooled engine, revving your car in a standstill position might harm it. Air-cooled vehicles are designed to consume the natural moving air through the radiator when it is running. So, if you have this type of automobile, I would suggest you do not over-rev your engine to avoid any unwanted situation.

Revving your engine is not harmful as long as you do not red-line it. Racing car drivers often rev their engines before the race starts. That helps them to gain some boost when they shift into first gear. Note this, if you are not a racer and want to take good care of your car, especially the engine, you should avoid this habit.

Does Revving a Cold Engine Damage It?

Can You Ruin Your Engine by Revving It?

Revving a cold engine is not a good idea, especially if you just started your car and rev it instantly. The reason behind that is engine oil needs to be distributed throughout the machine and smooth the components to reduce the friction. When you start your car and rev it afterward, there are possibilities that the engine’s components do not work accurately.

I would suggest you, after starting your car, wait for a minute or two to reach the oil all over the engine and warm up a little bit. Doing so will help you to rev your engine confidently. Another reason you should warm up your machine before revving it is that the engine oil shows its natural performance when it is hot. It does not take much time to warm up your engine, and the oil.

If you want to use your car for a long time without frequent maintenance, it would be wise to use quality engine oil to run your machine correctly. As I said earlier, engine oil plays a vital role in ensuring your machine’s health. The better oil you use, the better the engine runs, and the revs would be more pronounced.

The worst thing you can do to your engine is rev it when it is cold. The second worst thing is to put your car neutral and high rev it. So, my suggestion would be, if you love your car and want to use it for the long term, you should not rev the machine when it is cold. As a warming up your engine does not take more than a couple of minutes, it would be wise to wait.

Is It Good to Take an Engine to Its Redline Sometimes?

If you are a new user, then the term “Redline” may be an alien word to you. You must be thinking about what the word “Redline” stands for. Well, most of the cars come with a rev limiter, and if you rev your engine until it hits the limiter, that is called Redlining. Some say it is a good thing whether others say you should not redline your machine. 

To know the correct answer you need to read this article till the end. In my opinion, it is okay to rev your engine to its redline sometimes. By doing so, you can read the machine’s reaction when you push it to its peak performance.

Generally, an engine will run smoothly at low RPM because you are not pushing, or stressing its limit. But when you push your machine to its highest aptitude, then the engine shows its true power and condition. If something is wrong with your engine, you can find out by this method and repair it.

Sometimes if you have clogged fuel injector nozzles or worn spark plugs, that can cause a problem and make unusual sounds during power delivery. Any expert can tell the difference between a healthy and a clogged engine by hearing the revving sound. Another advantage is that occasionally you can show off the exhaust sound by revving your machine. So, you can redline your engine without any hesitation.


New or amateur drivers think that it will harm their engine if they rev it so hard. That is only because the engine sounds like it is about to explode while revving, which is not the case. However, remember one thing that you should not rev the engine when the engine is cold.

Gui Hadlich

Hey there! I'm Gui. To be honest, I'm not really that interested in cars. But what I'm really, really not interest in is spending lots of money fixing my car up. Thankfully, I have a father-in-law who's obsessed with cars and a brother getting a PhD in internal combustion engines, so I get to learn about fixing cars. And with Fixing Engines, I hope to help you save a lot of money and take good care of your cars.

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